As a non- EU expat in the Netherlands, you will eventually need to open a Dutch bank account to take care of your daily transaction or to receive your payments. The reason for this is that the Netherlands mostly works IBAN bank accounts, therefore as a non-EU citizen you need a bank account with IBAN from the European union to avoid transaction fees to other currencies. If you do have another European bank account then you do not have to open a Dutch one.
When it comes to opening a bank account in the Netherlands, there are many banks to pick from and the good news is that most of them have information available also in English. Some of the most popular banks in the Netherlands are:
As an alternative, Digital banks can be used as well. These banks are not Dutch but can still be used in the Netherlands:
It’s a good idea to look around and assess the benefits and drawbacks of all available banks before opening a bank account in the Netherlands. You may give certain features a higher priority depending on your needs and preferences. Things to consider when looking for a bank include:
Requirements to open a bank account
If you do not possess a residence permit as a non-EU in the Netherlands, it is recommended to opt for the online banking option as they do not ask for one. You can apply with a valid ID or passport only.
Some terms that you might come across
IBAN is an acronym for International Bank Account Number. Each Dutch bank account and financial institution has a unique IBAN number which allows it to be recognizable worldwide. This number makes international and local transactions easier and reduces the risk of error.
SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA is a way to harmonize money transfers across the eurozone making it easier, seamless, and often free of charge. In other words, transferring money between different countries in Europe will be the same as making a local bank transfer.
SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is similar to SEPA except it operates on a worldwide basis. It supports transfers in different currencies across the globe.
Internet banking is very popular in the Netherlands. The majority of people now manage their finances online. Traditional and modern banks alike offer internet banking due to its popularity among their clients. Nearly all of the transactions that you may carry out in person are available through simple, secure internet banking in the Netherlands.
With some banks, you will need to obtain an identifier to log in to your Internet banking. A card reader called the identifier will enable you to log in securely and perform any transactions you need to. Keep in mind that each Dutch bank has a separate card reader and for some of them, you will not need it at all. Take this information into account when you are choosing your bank.
Customers can pay online through their bank using the iDEAL online payment method. With iDeal, you can make online purchases without using a credit card. You can purchase items using your debit card instead by paying with your e.dentifier and pin code.
Money insurance in the Dutch banks
The deposit guarantee scheme covers all banks with a Dutch banking license. De Nederlandsche Bank is in charge of this (DNB). Check with your bank to see if it is covered by the deposit guarantee scheme. You can also find it in the Financial Supervision Act register (Wft). DNB pays out to account holders who are reimbursed up to a certain amount for their deposits under the current system. Following that, the costs are distributed among the participating banks.
The deposit guarantee scheme protects the assets of account holders when a bank is unable to meet its obligations. If certain conditions are met, account holders can have their deposits refunded up to a certain amount.
European bank coverage
Each country in the European union must be able to fulfill a € 100,000 coverage level guarantee.
Not all financial products are covered by the deposit guarantee scheme. However, almost all savings accounts, current accounts and time deposits fall under this scheme. Money on a so-called subordinated deposit is generally not covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.
Shares or bonds are also not covered by the deposit guarantee scheme. They often fall under the investor compensation scheme. This only applies if the investment firm goes bankrupt and has not complied with the law. Price loss is not covered by the investor compensation scheme.
Your bank must be able to indicate whether the product you have is covered by the deposit guarantee scheme.